Charges dropped against teens in bullying case

Nov. 21, 2013 at 7:55 AM
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LAKELAND, Fla., Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Prosecutors in Florida dropped stalking charges against two girls accused of bullying a 12-year-old girl who then committed suicide, lawyers said.

Two girls ages 13 and 14 were arrested in October and charged with aggravated stalking after 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick of Lakeland jumped from a cement tower plant to her death.

Prosecutors initially alleged months of bullying online and at school at the hands of the two teens contributed to Sedwick's suicide.

Tuesday, they dropped the charges against the teens, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported.

"The State Attorney's Office dropped this case because there is zero evidence of any stalking in this case," said Jose Baez, a lawyer for the younger girl.

"These are children. They sometimes make mistakes," he added. "But it never, ever ever rose to the level of bullying."

Baez accused Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd of "reckless" conduct for talking about the case on national television and releasing the arrest photos of the two young girls.

"He should get a lawyer and a darn good one, 'cause he's going to need it," Baez said.

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